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... to feel crushed by my ex's (DS's dad's) plans to move into a house 100 yards from me?

(18 Posts)
MindYourOwn Wed 10-Oct-12 19:39:37

My son's dad has decided to move back to the village DS and I still live in. He moved out five years ago after a horrible separation, and has lived elsewhere (nearby) since.

However, because he lived here happily as a child (we moved here so DS could have a childhood like his), he's behaving like he owns the village and as though he is entitled (somehow more than I am) to be here.

I know I don't own the village either; ultimately he can do what he wants. But I think it's a bloody awful idea. He's looking at a property 100 yards from ours, and I feel sick; invaded.

He treated me so appallingly in the run-up to, and after, our separation. And even though we've worked hard to achieve a healthy co-parenting relationship since, he still has his moments now, and we go through phases of having to completely back off from one another - which is a lot easier to do when you don't live round the corner from one another!

I've tried reasoning with him; explaining that DS is happy and settled, and it's worked having his dad live nearby but not on our doorstep. I've said that surely most separated couples would struggle living so close to one another in a close-knit community, especially if there's still friction between them, and that surely it's easier to move on if there's some physical distance between us and our lives play out in different 'worlds'. But it's no good; he says he needs to do this - he feels such a strong pull to the place and he thinks it will be good for him - and he says I'll just have to get used to it.

I feel utterly miserable about this. We have lovely neighbours and friends here (ex knows some of them too, but not well; we weren't here long before he moved out). It's the only home DS has known, and we live a short walk from his lovely school. But I feel so cornered and stifled at the thought of having my ex living a few doors down, that I'm feeling maybe we'll have to move somewhere else. And DS would be devastated by this - but I can't spend the next 10 years until he goes to uni feeling ill at ease living here, can I?

Great for DS to have Dad round the corner, up to a point. Bloody awful for me. And in turn, bloody awful for DS: stressed mum = stressed child, etc.

Is there anything I can do? I feel there's no happy scenario for me: stay in our home but with ex round corner; or move away from lovely home, and uproot a sad DS, but liberate myself from ex.

AIBU to think ex has taken leave of his senses, and to feel utterly defeated by this? sad

FellatioNelson Wed 10-Oct-12 19:42:10

I don't think there is anything you can do - no. Although I understand why you feel crap about it.

Chattymummyhere Wed 10-Oct-12 19:43:59

Could you not move say a couple of streets away if this does happen? Not to far away and you wont be living pretty much next door to each other.

attheendoftheday Wed 10-Oct-12 20:21:56

That's shit, I can understand why you hate the idea. Sadly, as you know, you ex has the right to move where he wants. I suppose it comes down to whether it's more awful for you to move or get used to the ex. Maybe give it a go for a bit? It might not be as bad as you think.

colleysmill Wed 10-Oct-12 20:33:19

Ah my ex did this - moved in 3 doors down because "he could live where he liked" despite his family telling him it was a terrible idea.

I think actually he thought it was a way of intimidating me (awful violent relationship, messy breakup) as it was a cul de sac. To leave his house he had to walk past mine.

I was initially devastated, I felt uncomfortable in my own home. I did, however, turn it to my advantage once I realised he was more intimidated by me getting on with my own life. And that everytime he saw movement in my house he ran off like a rabbit. Everytime he walked by anyone visiting would move from the sofa (get a drink, pick something up, open a window - all very legitimate things to do in a house) off he ran. He never bothered me/followed through any of his "threats"

He stayed 3 months and then got kicked out for non payment of rent, stealing food amd generally being a knob.

piratecat Wed 10-Oct-12 20:35:27

I'm sorry. i know just how you feel. like a total invasion.


holidaysarenice Wed 10-Oct-12 22:30:24

you would need very clear boundaries, i.e this is ur time with ds, do not call at other times. if we see you out and about fine, but say hello stay a few mins and then move on. if he doesnt like this ask him how he wud like it if you popped over all the time when he has ds.

do u rent or buy?
if renting, casually mention ur thinking of changing to x street, say 1/4 1/2 mile away as (approp reason) e.g. bigger garden. he'd look like a knob if he moved into ur street for u to move out.

DontmindifIdo Wed 10-Oct-12 22:35:42

You'll make new friends when you move. Which you'll have to.

WorraLiberty Wed 10-Oct-12 22:39:45

You don't have to uproot your son, just move a bit further away if you need to.

Narked Wed 10-Oct-12 23:20:50

Have you told him you'll move if he moves in nearby?

MindYourOwn Thu 11-Oct-12 09:45:19

Thanks for posts and understanding.

We own our home. DS (who's eight BTW) is really attached to it, partly because he's a 'homebird' type, partly because it's the only home he remembers, and also because since we separated, his dad has lived in five different places; his move back to the village (to a rented property) will be his sixth.

DS has had long spells of not doing overnights at his dad's, in part I wonder because of not feeling settled. I'd rather not move him, because this home has been a constant. Plus it would cost me money to move to get away from ex. And staying in the village but in a different house wouldn't prevent our lives overlapping at community events, etc; I think the upheaval would gain us next to nothing TBH.

I think it does boil down to me staying put and putting up with him living nearby, or moving right out of this community to a nearby neighbouring one.

What a selfish sod. I'm hoping he'll mess up on his rent payments like another poster's ex ... although that would mean more disruption for DS, so that's not a solution either. Gah.

MindYourOwn Thu 11-Oct-12 09:48:40

Oh, and I haven't said I will move if he moves in nearby. But I have said that he hated having to move when his parents left the village when he was 13; and that if I were to find the proximity unworkable, and moved myself, he'd be pushing me to cause DS the same upset. He's not seeing it. He says "but we're not high-conflict" so doesn't see the problem. But we are sometimes, and even if we weren't, who'd ordinarily want to live that close to their ex?!

hhhhhhh Thu 11-Oct-12 09:52:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LauraPalmerPlusOne Thu 11-Oct-12 09:53:09

Wow. I think YBvvvU. We have a similar situation with my DP's ex and we all co-parent my 8yo DSS. It works really well - especially for DSS, who spends 50/50 at each house.

That said, we're all really respectful of each other's space and time with DSS.

Couldn't you find a positive way to make this work for the three of you? Seems like it could be very handy to have both parents around. Your DS would probably really appreciate it (which is really the most important factor in the situation.)

As long as you and exH can be respectful towards one another, I don't really see why this couldn't work out well for your DS's two-home family.

HeathRobinson Thu 11-Oct-12 09:55:44

I wonder, if you showed you were completely calm about his prospective move, would he continue?

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 11-Oct-12 10:00:17

I think you need to focus on finding a way to make this work. It will be great for your ds if you both put him first.

Think about the boundaries you will be willing to live with and have an open and honest conversation with your ex. Get mediation if you have to to prevent it turning into a row. If he agrees to not start popping over whenever he feels like it, I can't really see any reason why it has to be that bad. Think about what exactly it is you are worried about, and then think about ways you can prevent it being a problem. I think it would be very selfish of you to move, so you should at least be giving it a go.

In my personal experience, people have a lot of respect for separated couples who put their differences aside and be the best co parents they can possibly be, both to the child, and each other. There is no reason why your ex being around should affect any of your relationships with people in the village. People in mine are used to seeing me with my husband, or with my ex at things that are more connected to our dc, or seeing all of us together. It's only a problem if you make it one.

WilsonFrickett Thu 11-Oct-12 10:01:19

I wonder that too Heath. It sounds like he's doing it to get a reaction from you OP. Don't give him it. He hasn't moved yet, I'd be very calm about it and see if he still does it when he realises he isn't getting any reaction from you.

MindYourOwn Thu 11-Oct-12 10:39:22

Thanks for further posts. I agree with you absolutely - and normally ex and I have a really positive co-parenting relationship; probably about 75% of the time. We have been to several things with DS this year, and with DP and his kids too, as a kind of extended "family".

But - and it's a big but - ex has cyclical mood problems, which he doesn't wish to acknowledge and makes no effort to stabilise, and when he's in the grip of these, I'd rather be well and truly apart. He becomes overly sociable, pops in on all and sundry (including people he doesn't know that well) for endless chats, gets involved with everything and anything, and - most critically for me - becomes verbally aggressive and insulting towards me. When he comes out the other end, he'll be full of remorse, depressed for months, won't work, etc. I find it embarrassing, exhausting and hurtful, and harsh as it may sound, I don't want it on my doorstep.

When he's in a "good place", I'm happy to opt in with positive co-parenting 100%. And we can do it. But that rest of the time, this isn't possible - respect and reason go out of the window. And I think it's understandable for me to not want that agro in my "world" at these times.

It's a very close-knit community, with all manner of activities going on, and everyone bumps into everyone all the time.

I hope this gives a bit more context. And I do sign up to healthy co-parenting, really I do. But sometimes this just isn't possible.

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